Learning all there is to know about keywords, keyword density, or keyword phrases, could take months. But, it is a known fact, using keyword density, may get your blog found, and drive more traffic to your site.

This is what I have learned about keywords, keyword density and keyword phrases.

When people search the internet, they use words to find what they are looking for. What the search engines have apparently done, is rank these words by popularity.

Example: At this point in time (10/4/07), a popular, keyword phrase search, in the USA is probably, “Britney Spears child custody” (keyword phrase). And, I am sure, many bloggers are scrambling to write posts about this issue.

Repeating the same keyword or keyword phrase, in your posts, equates to keyword density.

Back to the lesson. Since current events are temporary, popular, keyword phrase search items, let’s switch to something more permanent, and create some lasting power to your posts.

Let’s take a look at the word “photography”. Since Kekoa asked me to write about this, I’ll use keyword terms that might be found in his Byteful blog. We know that Kekoa is a creative person. He also likes to write, take pictures, travel, and edit his pictures.

Kekoa wants to get more traffic to his blog, via the search engines.

Now, if you search for the word “photography” (keyword), you will get millions of hits. That means that the keyword “photography” is in a saturated search “market”.

The results for “photography”, that are found on the first page of the search engine, are more than likely, sites that have a high page rank (another sore subject), but unfortunately, search engines like Google, rely on page rank. It is written, if your site is not indexed (listed) within the first three pages for a search, the chance of your site being found, is slim.

Writing a post, and repeating the keyword “photography” many, many times, still won’t get you to the front page. You post may be ranked as “spam”, due to over usage of a word, so don’t do that. This is also referred to as “keyword stuffing”.

But, if you get creative, and use an unpopular keyword phrase, you may start getting visits to your blog.

We need to think about not only how we search, but how others might search.

What words would you type into the search bar to find a site that talks about photography, travel, and also has pictures? ….travel pictures, photo blog, edit travel pictures, edit photos easy, mountain pictures, water pix, help take pics, taking travel pictures, vacation photos edit, beautiful travel pictures, travel pix, creative editing, ……………the list could go on forever.

Keep in mind, even though you may use proper English, others may not. Where as one person might type in “pictures”, others may use “photo” or “pix”, or a variation. You have to think like a reader, or web surfer. Remember, they are usually in a hurry, so they may, or may not use lengthy keyword phrases. It becomes a gamble.

Another thing you can do, is ask family or friends what words they would use to find……whatever. Sometimes we have to think outside the box.

Some sites are found by the intentional misspelling of a word. If a word is often misspelled, authors of blogs, will intentionally misspell the word, and use it as a keyword, or in a keyword phrase. Who knew? And they say “check your spelling…..”. Maybe not!

O.K…..You have your chosen keyword or keyword phrase.

Today’s lesson

How do you use them?

1) Use them in your post title
2) Use them two or three times in your first paragraph
3) Sprinkle them throughout your post
4) Finally, use them in your last paragraph, or near the end of your post.
5) Also, important, use the same keyword, or keyword phrase consistently.

When search engines crawl your post, somehow, they can “read” what your post is about. If the same keyword, or keyword phrases, are repeated, the crawlers and bots, will index your post accordingly. Aren’t they smart?

Today’s Assignment

Now sure if you are getting search engine traffic, check your stats for search engine phrases. Need more information? Go to my previous post: Search Engines Referrals, or Direct Traffic?
Take time to make a list of all of the terms people are using to find your site. You can find this information in your stats. (hopefully)

Try using the same “search terms” in future posts, and see if it drives up your traffic count. Or, create new keywords or keyword phrases, and test them. Give the search engines a little bit of time to index your post.

Another thing I have done is figure out what my “keyword” will be for a post. Then I do a “search” using that keyword or phrase. I study the results that are indexed, concentrating on why sites are indexed on the first page. Sometimes it’s because they are a popular site (high page rank), but other times, they are not. Make a game of trying to get your post on the first page, or better yet, in the first position. It’s happened to me on a few occasions, for very unpopular keywords, but it still feels like a great accomplishment.

Sign up for HitTail, if you would like a third party to compile this information for you.

What’s HitTail?

HitTail reveals in real-time the least utilized, most promising keywords hidden in the Long Tail of your natural search results. We present these terms to you as suggestions that when acted on can boost the natural search results of your site. It’s that simple.

I am in the process of “testing” HitTail. For the basic program, it’s free.

What they do is analyze your search engine traffic, and they produce “suggestions” for keyword phrases to use in your blog. They break down your traffic to percentages.

For my OM blog, which is found mostly by search engines, it shows that 16.9% of my traffic is based on “top ten” keywords (or phrases), whereas 83.1% of my traffic is from “long tail keywords”.

Long tail keywords are, keywords or keyword phrases, that don’t fall into that “popular” category.

But…..since the majority of my traffic finds me, based on non popular keywords or keyword phrases, I would be smart to concentrate on those “long tail keywords”.

Under the “suggestions” section of HitTail, they provide suggested keywords or keyword phrases to use in future posts. Pretty ingenious.

Keep in mind, it takes awhile for HitTail to analyze your site. As more search engine traffic is generated, HitTail can produce better reports. After you sign up, give it about a week, and the reports will have more valuable information.

In this post, I have only covered the basics of keywords, keyword density, and keyword phrases.

Very Important As a final word of warning, make sure your blog will give the reader what they are looking for. If you misuse keywords or keyword phrases, just to get someone to come to your site, they may visit once, but may never, ever come back. Give them the content they are looking for, via the keywords you are using. Do not risk losing your reputation. To succeed, you must have a blog, that delivers what it promises.

Test what you have learned, and let me know if it works for you.

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  1. AsakoNo Gravatar says:

    This is very useful, Barbara, particularly because I am trying to fix my blog to perform better on the search terms. I also get people based on the long tail keywords. I am going to try HitTail.

  2. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Asako,

    I hope this helps your blog performance.

    HitTail appears to be a great tool to assist us in finding more long tail keywords.

  3. KekoaNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, you didn’t have to spotlight me! That’s incredibly generous of you! Thank you so much for the great advice on keywords.

    You ought to mention some specific steps about how to use HitTail. When you sign up for HitTail, it asks you to pay either $10 a month or $50 a year. I had to click back to the front page and log in. I wasn’t sure how to get it free. Then I realized I had to go to “My Account” on the top right and copy the code.

    I think providing some instructions would save people some confusion.

    By the way, thanks again for the blog mention! You’re awesome!

  4. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Kekoa,

    Because I treasure all of my “blogging buddies”, and their loyal readership, the least I can do is highlight them in my posts.

    Thank you for sharing the HitTail “sign up procedure”. Hopefully that will help other readers who may want to sign up.

    As soon as I get a good list going with HitTail “suggestions” and test the suggestions, I will do another post. I’ll be sure to include the steps one needs to follow, to sign up for free.

    Thank you for the compliment!

  5. […] has provided valuable feedback on the development of this website – as well as highlighting this website in a recent article pertaining to keywords. Being highlighted was a singular honor. Thanks again, […]

  6. […] Do the articles utilize keywords and/or keyword phrases? […]

  7. JamesNo Gravatar says:

    Hey, thanks for the info. Believe it or not, this is the first I’ve ever heard of HitTail… looks like a great tool. Always looking for useful new tools like thank. Thanks (one more free one you should check out is 103bees)

  8. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi James,

    Welcome to the BWAB community!

    Yes, HitTail is a great tool. The free version is good, but I’m guessing the paid version would offer even greater benefits.

    I’ll check out 103 bees, too. Thanks for the heads up.

  9. Well Hello again. :-)

    Did anyone get the email from HitTail? Something about the free version not being available for sign up anymore, but apparently they’ll allow current free users to remain. Can anyone confirm this?

    byteful-traveller’s last blog post..Free Up your Conscious Mind for Photography

  10. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Kekoa,

    How are you? It’s great to see you here again.

    Re: HitTail, I haven’t heard that, but will definitely look into it. If I find that to be true, I’ll let you know.

  11. I’m doing excellent, thanks! Yes, I recieved an email from Hittail on July 31st that said this:

    “The last days of new HitTail Basic sign-ups

    As of August 5th we will no longer offer HitTail Basic (free service) to new users. Current HitTail users have nothing to worry about – we appreciate your support and you will not be affected by this change. With just five days left for bloggers and webmasters to sign up a new site for our free level of HitTail service, feel free to spread the word.”

    It sounds sad. If anyone can confirm this, please let us know.
    Thanks.

  12. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Byteful Traveller:

    I just checked with HitTail and what you got is correct. If you had HitTail for free, it looks like you are “grandfathered” in, if not, from August 5 th, 2008 forward, it will become a service which will require a charge.

  13. really like the idea of comment luv since it is a way to return the web back to being a collaboratives place. I think when you first put up your site you are excited and feel like your content will take over the world then you quickly realize that the only way to keep up there in search rankings is by building relationships with other webmasters.